Do You Have a Holiday Sales Strategy Yet?
If you sell stuff online or offline, it’s time to create a Christmas holiday strategy. Some businesses make 80% of their profit over the holidays, so you need to make sure that you get your share of the holiday spending. You should be thinking about how you will stock up to fulfill holiday orders at least three months in advance. Preparation is key. You should know the closing dates of magazines so you can get products samples to editors to be included for holiday round up features. You also want to place your orders early for advertising you plan to do on local TV or radio.
Your supplies: Look at what your sales were last year to determine what you need to have in place. Order your packaging, shipping and raw materials in advance. Be sure to order extra too.
Your suppliers: Communicate with your manufacturer and distributers about your holiday plan. Make sure you have a back-up for you main supplier in case they are slammed with other holiday orders. Also keep in mind that your manufacturer may also be using temporary help too, so if you have a product which requires a high level a craftsmanship you may want to order product early, so that your quality does not suffer.
Shipping options: Know when you need to have your items read to ship so that they arrive before Christmas. Figure out your best shipping options. If you belong to a trade organization or association you may qualify for a discount with Fedex or UPS for shipping. You can also set up a USPS click-and-ship account so that they will pickup orders from your home or office.
Contact Your Merchant Account Provider: If you are going to focus on sales over the holidays you need to make sure that your credit card processor provides a daily limit high enough to process all the transactions. If you are fortunate enough to have your product featured in the media or in a magazine you can have huge amount sales in a day which could shut down your shopping cart.
Seasonal Staff: Have your seasonal help and interns lined up in advance. Develop a training program or a step b step guide with pictures so that you brand is not damaged by a temporary worker. You can also enlist your kids, spouse, church members and friends to help get you through the holidays.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Marketing Strategy: Figure out now what inventory or specials you must push for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You want to develop special pricing and volume discounts as well. You may even want to develop a pay-per-click campaign (ppc) for the holidays. You’ll want to develop 3-5 different ads so that you can adjust your campaign to the one that is resonating the most with you target audience.
What is your best holiday sales tip?
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America’s leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. As CEO of MFE Consulting LLC, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine recently named her the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also the author of the national bestseller Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. (Adams Media 2010)